A device developed by researchers from the University of Queensland has been proven more effective than needles and syringes for vaccinating people against the polio virus. And it’s hoped that now that it has received financial-backing funding from the World Health Organisation, the polio virus will soon be eradicated.
The Nanopatch is a 1cm square of silicon that is applied to the skin surface and uses thousands of vaccine-coated “microprojections” to release the vaccine just below your skin surface.
Professor Paul Young from the University of Queensland said a recent study, published on Nature.com, showed the Nanopatch was more effective against poliovirus than the currently-used oral vaccine.
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“We are extremely grateful to the [World Health Organisation] for providing funding to Vaxxas Pty Ltd, the biotechnology company commercialising the Nanopatch,” he said.
As recently as 1988, more than 350,000 cases of polio were detected across the world. Concerted efforts to eradicate the disease – including high-profile support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – has reduced the amount of cases by more than 99 per cent.
Dr David Muller, also from the University of Queensland, added that the simple, easy-to-administer style of the polio Nanopatch vaccine could also contribute to “mass vaccination campaigns” that were cheaper and faster to deploy.